Scripture: Lectionary 488. Nov.7. Romans 14:7-12. Psalm 27:1.4.13-14. Luke 15:1-10:
Having a good image of God is most important for our growth in our relationship with God. Often we inherited our image of God from our parents, teachers, and our own way of thinking. As we move on in life, we realize that our image of God is too small. We are forced to learn new ways of relating to God that help us to “see” God in new ways.
We are able to change our false images of the Trinity, of God, of Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit by our daily attention to the Word of God in the liturgy and to our own continued reading of the Scriptures. They are like an ocean and we have to learn how to swim within them while realizing we never penetrate their depths no matter how many years we studied, prayed, or were nourishec by them.
Both Paul and Jesus offer us images of God helping us to grow in our relationship with the Divine Persons of the Trinity. They both present us with positive images that do not scare us or make us try to hide from the Lord. God’s love, fidelity, loving-kindness, and mercy come to mind as we pour over the readings of this week from Paul to the Romans and the Gospel of Luke.
The two parables Jesus tells us today show us how much God cares for us even when we stray and wander off like lost sheep. The woman who keeps on searching for the lost coin worth a day’s wage is another way of seeing how God persists in finding us and then throwing a party for us. These parables found in Luke precede one of the greatest of parables, that of the indulgent and loving father and the straying prodigal son. These parable are parables of compassion, love, forgiveness and patience. They teach us how to be open to God who is so different from the way we think of God. We slowly but surely build on the Scriptural images to help us have a better image of God and a deeper relationship with God.
Our imaging of the Divine Persons does not stop there. We must learn to search out and find our brothers and sisters who are in need of our help and our support. Do I offer that support and affirmation to others seeing in them the Christ? Do we seek them out to share with them and they with us the things they are concerned about? Whatever is of interest to them should not leave us indifferent. Sometimes we need only to listen to them and allow them to speak and share what troubles them.
Jesus and Paul took up the difficulties they faced and used them for teaching us. The parables spring from Jesus who learned them from his mother Mary and then developed them through his Jewish heritage of making them the occasion for a teaching moment for all ages and all persons who take the time to ponder over them. Jesus and Paul never tired in speaking of God’s merciful and loving-kindness. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.